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PITTA – Embracing and Balancing the Heat of Summer

Sometimes it takes a meltdown to cool down.         ~Evinda Lepins

I’m hot, really hot.  Literally, I am actually HOT and wet, according to Yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, I am a PITTA, which means my body, mind and emotions are guided by the elements of heat and water.  My hair is red, my intellect is quick and sharp and my emotions are hard to stir but strong when shaken.  Maybe you are hot by nature, like me, or maybe you have just experienced one too many North Carolina summers.  Either way, I thought I would share how I have learned to cool down and chill out in tough times.

Ayurveda – literally translated as “Knowledge of Life” – offers 2 simple principles to live by.  These are:

(1) Like increases Like.

(2)  Balance can be restored by applying the opposite of the quality which is increasing.

Doesn’t seem so simple?  Think of it this way.  If you are already hot, like me, Summer will bring out your worst intellectual and emotional states (think of overworking, overthinking, anger and anxiety) and maybe even bring on or exacerbate a number of physical ailments (like inflammation, skin disorders, ulcers and headaches).  When it is extremely hot, or one is experiences excess amounts of heat in their environment, in what they eat and drink (spicy or oily foods, alcohol) or in their daily activity (competitive sports, emotionally-charged work and people), even individuals who are not, by nature, hot will turn HOT.

The simple solution lies in the second principle:  if you are too hot and sweaty – apply a little cool and dry to your life or VATA energy.  VATA is the element of Air and Ether.

Tips for cooling your environment (without increasing your air-con bill):

  1. Do your most strenuous exercise or activity between the hours of 6-10 am/pm when it is cooler.

  2. Reduce competitive exercise

  3. Sleep on your right side (increasing breath in the left nostril)

  4. Set routines for eating, sleeping, working

  5. Try lighting a sandlewood candle or using essential oils

Tips for cooling your diet:

  1. avoid alcohol

  2. avoid spicy, fried or salty foods

  3. eat sweet fruit (but not with meals)

  4. coconut everything (milk, water, butter, oil)

  5. cucumbers (if you need some, I have plenty!)

  6. eat light, low-acid, easily digested foods

  7. Cilantro, Mint, coriander, cardamom

Tips for cooling your emotions:

  1. Make time for fun

  2. Surrender control of something

  3. Meditate or Pray

  4. Spend an extra few minutes a day alone without anything to do

I am cooling down just thinking about all the options or maybe it is this cucumber, mint, lime & coconut beverage I am sipping on.

If you would like to learn more about Ayurveda or learn your dosha, there are numerous websites and resources available.  Try Dr. Claudia Welch.  If you would like to schedule an Ayurvedic consultation to determine your dosha and receive tips and advice on a balanced lifestyle for YOU, please contact me at for a private consultation.


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